There is a good Gastonia discussion rolling in @johnny szeto's thread about the Gastonia market generally. Now that we have a good discussion going, I'm wondering if perhaps some could share their experiences on attracting quality tenants who take care of properties in Gastonia.
My own experience with my rental in Cramerton has been excellent over the years but I'm wondering about some of the lower end rentals in Gastonia - here I'm thinking of homes valued in the 60-80 range that have had some rehab and are renting for $6-900.
Overall, how are Gastonia (or greater gaston area renters including Mt. Holly, Kings Mountain, Shelby, Bessemer City, Lowell, Dallas, etc) generally treating your rentals? Also when you are being forced to turn over tenants, are you generally having a good experience or are folks trashing your places?
Also, any info on how many evictions you've done would be interesting. I've tried to google for this info but haven't found any public records on how many evictions are happening in the county. I'm sure they are out there, but I just haven't found them.
Looking forward to hearing from your experiences!
I can only offer my perspective from a multi-family standpoint since that's what we currently have in Gastonia.
We're in the process of turning our tenant base because the previous owners of the property we acquired basically took anyone who had a heartbeat. As you can imagine that meant that we had a lot of trouble makers and a generally undesirable tenant base. About 50% of our tenants were also Section 8. Luckily the vast majority of tenants were on MTM.
The first thing we did when we took over was to hire off-duty police officers to patrol the property 24/7. That alone drove away any criminal elements that were lurking around. After that we went after anyone who had a balance, we had about 10 of those the first month, the process was very easy and was done in 30 days from start to finish. Compare that to NY where you can easily spend anywhere from 6-12 months trying to get someone out, it's a nightmare here!
We didn't have anyone trash the apartments but many left their belongings behind. When that happens we have to hold their belonging in the apartment or a storage unit for a few days, if they don't pick up their stuff then we dump it. I would say that's been the biggest nuisance.
After the evictions we started to selectively offer lease renewals or 30 day notices to vacate. We'll keep that process going until we've rehabbed all of our units.
In terms of attracting a better tenant base, we actually have a waiting list of approved applicants. We approve 1 out of every 4 applications so we've raised the bar quite a bit, along with our rent roll.
It's going to take another year before the property is 100% solid. The biggest issue we have is in changing the public's perception of a historically troubled property. We're doing a lot to change the curve appeal of the property, the whole re-positioning process takes time but as the perception changes so does your pricing power.
I'll be in Gastonia next month, maybe I'll host a get together at the property for those who want to see what re-positioning a property and tenant base looks like....
Great info, thanks Ruben.
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